NEW YORK—As a fine arts painter, Stone Roberts had all the right conditions growing up, including severe myopia as a child. This may seem ironic, but it makes sense given that a hallmark of Robert’s paintings is that everything seems to be in sharp focus, whether the object is in the foreground or background.

“I remember as a child, I had to get up close to everything to see it,” Roberts said. “I remember commenting to my brother after I got glasses, ‘Are you supposed to see everything so clearly?’”

Now, whether he is painting still lifes, elaborate interiors, or figures, this sense of visual clarity is what makes his style simultaneously subtle yet immediate.

“Some photographers, when they see my paintings, … are fascinated and find it beguiling,” Roberts said. “I don’t paint the way a camera would. To me, painting is the act of revealing things through light. My vision is to evoke details with paint without making it feel pedantic.”

Roberts was exposed to painting, music, and the arts growing up in Asheville, N.C., which he describes as “sophisticated and traditional.” But it wasn’t until Roberts studied English and art history at Yale that he realized that art could be a serious career.

“I grew up in a world where people didn’t consider art a viable thing to do. My parents expected me to become a doctor or lawyer,” he said.

Spurred by the precedent of successful figurative artists such as Philip Pearlstein and Leonard Anderson, Roberts changed his major and studied drawing and painting with Yale professor William Bailey. By sticking to his own tastes, he quickly found his own style amid a wide array of possibilities.

“I grew up in a time when there were no limits in the art world,” he said. “There was no one style; you could be very contemporary without abandoning things accomplished in the history of art. I was compelled by the representation of figures and still lifes.”

For Roberts, realism is intriguing and satisfying because it celebrates the sensuality of the three-dimensional world.

“The beauty in painting objects we surround ourselves with everyday is that it elevates the visual experience,” he said. “It allows us to see humble objects like flowers through the attention of painting, and it heightens our experience of life.”

One of his latest masterpieces is an oil-on-linen painting of Grand Central Terminal, 74 by 76 inches. This piece, which took him from 2009 to 2012 to complete, combines his expertise in still art, figures, and interiors into one masterpiece…

Read the rest of the story on The Epoch Times.

Featured Image: “Peonies, Shell and Coiled Candle,” 2009, oil on linen, 20 by 15 inches, private collection, New York. (Image courtesy of Hirschl & Adler Modern, New York, N.Y.)

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